Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland with over 10,000 new cases diagnosed in 2013. The national Cancer registry of Ireland expects this number to double by 2040. Three in every four people in Ireland have skin types 1 or 2 which means our skin burns and does not tan, or it burns before it tans.
Over 80% of all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to the sun and/or sun beds.
Malignant melanoma is almost twice as common in young women (up to age 34) as in young men, but more men die from it.
Our Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and General Surgeons at Aut Even are often involved in the diagnoses and treatment of skin cancer. There are two main types of skin cancer and patients are often unsure of what the differences between these skin cancers are. To help, we have outlined them both briefly here:
Non Melanoma Skin Cancer – In Ireland more than 8,000 people are diagnosed with a non-melanoma skin cancer each year.
Non-melanoma skin cancer is mainly caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light comes from the sun, as well as artificial sunbeds and sunlamps. The two common non-melanoma sun cancers are Basal cell carcinoma (which is the most common cancer reported world- wide every year), and Squamous cell carcinoma.
Melanoma Skin Cancer – Melanoma refers to a cancer in the cells that make melanin. It usually starts on the surface of the skin, either in a mole or normal-looking skin. It can develop in other parts of the body,
but this is rare. If melanoma is diagnosed and treated early, there is a very good chance of a cure. But it can spread to other parts of your body or within the skin itself. Melanoma is also known as malignant melanoma and is one of the most common cancers among people aged 15–44.
In Ireland the increase in skin cancer is partially due to spending more time outside, we are going on more overseas holidays and getting short, sharp bursts of intense sun and we are also exposing more of our skin than previous generations.
So, how do I prevent Skin Cancer? Follow these easy steps and enjoy the outdoors safely.
Remember to protect you and your family in the sun at all times follow the 5’s of Sun Safety to stay safe in the sun.
THE FIVE S’S OF SUN SAFETY
1. SLIP on a t-shirt
2. SLOP on SPF 30+ broad spectrum UVA & UVB sunscreen
3. SLAP on a broad brimmed hat
4. SLIDE on quality sunglasses
5. SHADE from the sun whenever possible
It is advisable to wear sun cream in Ireland every day from April – September even on cloudy days.
Consultant Dermatologist Dr Colin Buckley at Aut Even Hospital Kilkenny advises people to know your moles, where they are, and what they look like. Moles that get larger or change colour, texture, or shape will be of particular interest to your Dermatologist, as well as any spots that are itching, oozing, or bleeding. It is important that you visit your GP if you have any skin abnormality that hasn’t healed after four weeks or any lesion that is new even if isn’t causing any symptoms. Although it is unlikely to be skin cancer, it is best to be sure.
Dermatology at Aut Even
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Aut Even
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